Alan Cameron (classicist)

Alan Douglas Edward Cameron, FBA (13 March 1938 – 31 July 2017) was a British classicist and academic. He was Charles Anthon Professor Emeritus of the Latin Language and Literature at Columbia University, New York. He was one of the leading scholars of the literature and history of the later Roman world and at the same time a wide-ranging classical philologist whose work encompassed above all the Greek and Latin poetic tradition from Hellenistic to Byzantine times but also aspects of late antique art.

Alan Cameron
Alan Cameron, March 2013 (cropped).jpg
Professor Cameron in March 2013
Alan Douglas Edward Cameron

13 March 1938
Died31 July 2017(2017-07-31) (aged 79)
New York, USA
Spouse(s)Dame Averil Cameron (married 1962-1980)
Carla Asher (married 1998) [1]
Academic background
Academic work


He was educated at St. Paul's School, London (1951–56). He went on to New College, Oxford, earning a first class in Honour Moderations (1959) and Literae Humaniores (1961). He was married, from 1962 to 1980, to Dame Averil Cameron, with whom he has a son and a daughter. In 1998 he married Carla Asher, who survives him.

Cameron began his academic career as a Lecturer at the University of Glasgow (1961). He then became a Lecturer and then a Reader in Latin at Bedford College, London (1964-1972). From 1972 to 1977 he held the Chair of Latin at King's College London. He went to Columbia University as Charles Anthon Professor in 1977.

Cameron was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 1975. He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978 and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society in 1992. In March 1997 he was awarded the American Philological Association's Goodwin Award. In 2005, he received Columbia University's Lionel Trilling Award.

In 2013, he was awarded the Kenyon Medal for Classical Studies and Archaeology of the British Academy. The award dedication read as follows:

Alan Cameron has produced a major series of books on various aspects of the later Graeco-Roman world, from early Hellenistic times to the late Empire. He has a remarkable flair for synthesising literary with social and political history, at the same time clarifying the nature and relationships of the sources, and he regularly subjects long-accepted doctrines to examination and challenge. For students of Hellenistic poetry his Callimachus and His Critics (1995) has become a central point of reference, while his work on the Palatine Anthology, The Greek Anthology: From Meleager to Planudes (1993) threw much new light on the transmission of that great composite collection of epigrams. Other major works have included Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius (1970), Greek Mythography in the Roman World (2004), and most recently The Last Pagans of Rome (2011).

Cameron also published about 200 scholarly articles on a wide range of subjects related to the ancient world.

He died on 31 July 2017 in New York.[2]

Selected worksEdit

Cameron's books include:

  • Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius (1970)
  • Porphyrius the Charioteer (1973)
  • Circus Factions: Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (1976)
  • Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius (May 1992) (with Jacqueline Long and Lee Sherry)
  • The Greek Anthology: From Meleager to Planudes (1993)
  • Callimachus and his Critics (1995)
  • Greek Mythography in the Roman World (2004) (reviewed by T P Wiseman in the Times Literary Supplement, 13 May 2005 page 29)
  • The Last Pagans of Rome (2011) (reviewed by Peter Brown in the New York Review of Books, 7 April 2011)
  • Wandering Poets and Other Essays in Late Antique Poetry and Philosophy (2015).


  1. ^ "Professor Alan Cameron (1938-2017)".
  2. ^ "Professor Alan Cameron, 1938-2017". Archived from the original on 5 January 2019.

External linksEdit